The black swallowtail sat so still that I thought perhaps she was dead, but when I approached she fluttered away. Watching her weave through the great-grandfather of a camphor tree that dominates the yard, I fretted. My husband has a bird feeder, and birds were everywhere, and I didn’t want to witness an assault. Once, I opened my front door and saw a bird after a butterfly. It was a grim struggle, the small butterfly moving here and there, the much bigger bird intent and echoing every move. Life and death played out among my front trees. How frivolous butterflies are, such a flash of creativity by the Unseen, the way flowers are. How practical and ugly they might have been manufactured in order to fit into the intricate ladder of nature; instead they’re silk-winged dancers en pointe until the day they die.

Are we a flash of creativity by the Unseen? Why do we forget to unfurl our wings? What do you think?


4 responses to “frivolous

  1. Fear keeps our wings tucked back.

  2. It is a wonder there is any kindness in the world at all since nature teaches us that ruthlessness is needed to survive. Gentleness is culled out of the world.

  3. I love that thought– a flash of creativity by the Unseen. I love the possibility of being that light, that fleeting.

  4. Ruthlessness in nature…..but many of us humans are beyond survival stage; we have food and shelter and therefore can aim higher.

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